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Saint-Remy-sur-Avre (France) (AFP) – On conquered territory in the small town of Saint Rémy-sur-Avre (Eure-et-Loir), between tobacco bar and flea market, on Saturday Marine Le Pen promised to lead France like a “mother” and to defend the “more vulnerable”.
Unlike Emmanuel Macron, who is holding a large rally in Marseille, France’s second largest city, on the same day, the far-right presidential candidate has opted for this city of 3,900 people, where 37.2 percent of those running in the first round voted for her voted, well ahead of the outgoing President (23.6%).
RN activists are waiting for their candidate near the tobacco bar “Le Maryland” on the church square.
“The population is really changing,” said one of them, Erik Michiels, a former physical education teacher who hails from the neighboring town of Verneuil-sur-Avre, where there are “two mosques and kebabs.”
Near the counter, hidden by a forest of cameras, Marine Le Pen greets customers. “When the people vote, the people win,” launched the candidate eight days before the second ballot, still worried about her voters abstaining, which cost her dearly at regional level.
Coming out, she admitted to the press that the veil was a “complex issue” and that she was “not obtuse” that her controversial measure to ban the veil on the streets would be debated in the congregation. But “we have to solve the problem of women who are being put under pressure by the Islamists.”
“Something has to happen because we are in a dictatorship,” says Alain, 61, a caretaker in a facility for the disabled. He voted for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan on the first ballot and complains to Marine Le Pen that he was suspended from his post for not being vaccinated against Covid.
The candidate promises to “reinstate” the suspended caregivers and “repay” the uncollected salaries. “Compulsory vaccination is an attack on the freedom of the individual,” she said.
When Éric Cailleux, 50, manager of a 5-employee garage, RN voter, tells him he’s “crushed under the load,” Marine Le Pen offers him to abolish production taxes and encourage “local communities” by creating businesses and prefer local products.
“We are closing beds, bus lines and that creates more difficult living conditions in the countryside,” she laments.
To a disabled person asking for one-storey flats, she promises to bring the accommodation “up to standard” and a more comprehensive policy “for the most vulnerable”.
At the flea market, the seller Florence tells her that she “is not entitled to help” if markets like hers have to close during the Corona period and “you have to pay for petrol”.
Marine Le Pen has criticized these “bans” that “have gotten people into a lot of trouble” and puts forward her flagship proposal to cut VAT on fuel, gas and electricity.
“The yellow vests, we’re all here, even those who had more means don’t have any more,” testified an elegant blonde, concerned about Emmanuel Macron’s stance in Wednesday’s debate against Marine Le Pen.
Avren in Eure-e-tLoir, April 16, 2022 “I will be your voice,” replies Marine Le Pen, who says she is “calm”.
Laurent, 54, who converted to alternative medicine after electromechanics, says he was “called” to meet Marine Le Pen.
He has lived in the city for five years but cannot find a doctor. In particular, the candidate promises him tax incentives for their installation.
She goes on to close a factory in Chartres that “no one is talking about” and castigates “this wild globalization, a fool’s market”.
“We can also do things differently,” she promises, intent on “leading the country as a mother, with common sense, with consistency, without excesses, without excesses.”
“But considering the tens of millions of French who were not the priority” of previous governments.
© 2022 AFP